ADVANCES ON APPLE PRODUCTION UNDER SEMIARID CLIMATE: N FERTIGATION
Keywords:fruit production, Malus domestica, yield
The fertilizing management for apple tree is essential, especially for nitrogen, one of the most important nutrients affecting fruit yield. Thus, an experiment an experiment was conducted in 2012 and 2013 to evaluate the fruit production, yield and leaf chlorophyll of ‘Princesa’ and ‘Eva’ apples as a function nitrogen fertigation under Brazilian semiarid conditions. The experimental design consisted of randomised blocks, with treatments distributed in a factorial arrangement 2 x 4, corresponding to apple cultivars (Eva and Princesa); and nitrogen doses (160, 120, 80 and 40 kg of N ha-1), with four replications and three plants. Calcium nitrate was used and nitrogen source (15.5% of N) with applications twice a week during 40 days, reaching 12 fertilizing performances through irrigation water. The following variables were evaluated: i) fruit production per plant (kg plant-1); ii) fruit yield (t ha-1); iii) number of fruits per plant; iv) leaf chlorophyll meter readings (index); and v) leaf nitrogen concentration (g kg-1). Princesa apple cultivar if compared to ‘Eva’ presents a better fruit production performance under in Brazilian semiarid. Furthermore, nitrogen doses fertilized through irrigation water have no effect on fruit production of Eva and Princesa apple cultivars during the first production cycle.